SpaceX prices Starlink satellite Internet beta at $99 per month
SpaceX, the company that has been pumping hundreds of satellites into low orbit for the past year, is now ready to do business. The company is offering a beta version of its satellite internet service for a $499 kit fee and $99 per month. Speed expectations are low at first, says the company. The service will provide possibly intermittent speeds of 50 to 150 Mbps during its first months as it builds up infrastructure. While this service may be lacking in speed and economy, it may be the best available in many parts of the world. Forbes
dis-rup-shun: SpaceX’s promise is to provide internet access across the globe — enabling a truly global service and one that connects very remote places to the world wide web. With the diaspora of urban workers heading to the hills in the time of COVID-19, connecting urban outposts to the rest of the world is critical, and certainly worth a premium. The philanthropic possibilities of the StarLink service are also exciting — connecting people who had neither the funds nor the infrastructure to the rest of the web can transform economically depressed communities.
T-Mobile pushes into the streaming video business
T-Mobile, always the uncarrier, has been offering its subscribers a companion streaming video (TV replacement business) for as low at $10. Now the carrier is opening up the service to non-subscribers, who can add premium channels to TVision for $40 and up per month. CNET
dis-rup-shun: Thanks to T-Mobile for keeping the playing field competitive and differentiated. Now that Sprint is part of T-Mobile, the company that people liked to ignore is putting a dent in the establishment. And think of a wireless carrier also being your TV provider? That sounds like a company called AT&T, but priced at half of what you used to pay for your TV + wireless bundle.
The demise of cable TV inevitable
Leaders of traditional cable operators are preparing for the nuclear winter that awaits further defection by cord cutters. Cable operators are expected to lose another 25 million households over the next 5 years, calling into question the sustainability of the infrastructure, including financial (debt) structure supporting the industry. Shifting assets to streaming services will have to happen quickly and is already reshuffling the leaders of the pay TV industry, with companies such as Netflix, Apple and Disney joining the incumbents as the power brokers. CNBC
dis-rup-shun: Outgoing and departed cable execs, including AT&T’s Randall Stephenson, placed huge bets on keeping enough subscribers onboard to keep the ship afloat, but the the pay TV tide is turning more quickly than some expected, and there is question if revenues from streaming subscriptions will be sufficient to fund the over the top services. Leadership in the streaming industry requires premium content, and producing premium content, either in the form of great shows or live sports is extremely expensive and may require subsidies from other business units, as Disney, AT&T, CBS Viacom and some have, but Netflix does not. In a tough spot, potentially, are owners of sports franchises who will find it increasingly difficult to get enormous TV contracts that they and their players have become so accustomed.
Nest discontinues DIY home security system
Nest has confirmed the discontinuation of its Nest Secure DIY home security system in a box. The kit, released in 2017, sold most recently for $399. The decision to shut down the product comes a few months after Google invested $450 million in professional security leader ADT. The Verge
dis-rup-shun: The discontinuation of Nest Secure is a surprise, and yet no surprise at all. It is a surprise, because it appears that smart device makers like Amazon, it’s Ring division, and Google’s Nest are marching from making popular and well-priced devices, to making well-priced integrated systems consisting of more and more components. It is a surprise in that Google has a vast war chest, and, having made a large investment in ADT, seems to be in position to play the long game in smart home. It is not a surprise in that Google’s hardware strategy is continuously perplexing — seemingly designed by players of musical chairs who don’t stick to a plan for more than a few months. And not a surprise in that buyers of smart home products don’t appear to be buyers of integrated security systems. Security systems buyers appear to be different animals, and where the two meet is still hard to discern. One thing for certain: someone at SimpliSafe has cracked a bottle of champagne on the Nest news.